The Religion and Film Reader


Edited by leading experts in the field, The Film and Religion Reader brings together the key writings in this exciting and dynamic discipline. In over sixty interviews, essays and reviews from numerous directors, film critics and scholars, this eagerly anticipated anthology offers the most complete survey of this emerging field to date.

Film is now widely studied and researched in theology and religious studies departments, The Film and Religion Reader is therefore ideal for ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (5) from $111.69   
  • New (3) from $111.69   
  • Used (2) from $144.99   
Sending request ...


Edited by leading experts in the field, The Film and Religion Reader brings together the key writings in this exciting and dynamic discipline. In over sixty interviews, essays and reviews from numerous directors, film critics and scholars, this eagerly anticipated anthology offers the most complete survey of this emerging field to date.

Film is now widely studied and researched in theology and religious studies departments, The Film and Religion Reader is therefore ideal for students and researchers, introduced and organized into the following thematic and chronological sections, each with an introduction by the editors:

  • the dawn of cinema: adherents and detractors
  • the birth of film theory: realism, formalism, and religious vision
  • directors and critics: global perspectives – African and Middle-Eastern perspectives; Asian and Australisian perspectives; European perspectives; South and North American perspectives
  • theological and Biblical approaches to analysing film
  • recent reflections on the relation between religion and film.

This Reader brings together a huge amount of material in a student-friendly format and will be an invaluable resource for courses within both theology and religious studies.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'This is a genuinely useful addition to the maturing literature on religion and film. The imaginative selection of readings makes this book an invaluable resource that will broaden and deepen the insights of students and researchers in this field. This will undoubtedly become a key text for any serious course exploring the various ways in which religion and film intersect.'Gordon Lynch, Professor of Sociology of Religion, Birkbeck, University of London, UK

'[There is a lot to think about here], and it is just a micro-sample of all that is to be found in this milestone collection.'Project Muse (Scholarly Journals Online)

'Jolyon Mitchell and S. Brent Plate ... consistently stress the historical depth, the geographical spread and the sheer critical complexity that marks reflection on the relationship between religion and film. ... In conclusion, this is a highly intelligent and thought-provoking collection of work exploring the relationship between religion and film ...[T]his eclecticism is also one of the volume's main strengths for it constantly throws up new and challenging ways of thinking about religion and film, and for this reason alone, I would warmly recommend this book to scholars seeking a way into this field or looking for a course reader for their students.'David Murphy, University of Stirling, Literature and Theology, 23(2)

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415404945
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/27/2007
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Jolyon Mitchell is senior lecturer at New College, Edinburgh University. His previous publications include Visually Speaking, Mediating Religion, and Media Violence and Christian Ethics. S. Brent Plate is Associate Professor of Religion and the Visual Arts at Texas Christian University. His recent publications include Blasphemy: Art that Offends, Walter Benjamin, Religion and Aesthetics and Representing Religion in World Cinema.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements     XV
General Introduction     1
The Dawn of Cinema: Advocates and Detractors     7
Introduction     9
from The Religious Possibilities of the Motion Picture (1910)     14
from The Problem of Capital Formation in the Indian Cinema (1917)     25
from If Christ Went to the Movies (1920)     27
from The Devil's Camera (1920)     32
from Encyclical Letter Vigilanti Cura (1936)     35
The Birth of Film Theory: Realism, Formalism, and Religious Vision     43
Introduction     45
from On Certain Characteristics of Photogenie (1924)     49
from Sorcery and Cinema (1927)     54
from Le Journal D'un Cure de Campagne and the Stylistics of Robert Bresson (1951)     57
from Metaphors on Vision (1963)     60
Global Perspectives: Filmmakers and Critics     67
Introduction     69
African and Middle-Eastern Perspectives     75
Introduction     77
from In a Harsh Light (2000)     82
from In Dialogue with Kiarostami (1998)     87
from Once Upon a Filmmaker: Conversation with Mohsen Makhmalbaf (2001)     92
from Religious Remediations: Pentecostal Views in Ghanaian Video-Movies(2005)     95
from Towards an Understanding of the Popularity of West African Video Film (2004)     103
from Notes from the Palestinian Diaspora: An Interview with Elia Suleiman (2003)     113
from The Power of Female Solidarity: An Interview with Ousmane Sembene (2004)     117
from I Make Films About the Big Problems of Our continent: An Interview with Cheick Oumar Sissoko (2000)     121
Asian and Anstralasian Perspectives     127
Introduction     129
from Filming the Gods: Religion and Indian Cinema (2006)     135
from Revelation and Doubt in Sant Tukaram and Devi (2000)     143
from An Interview with Im Kwon-Taek (2002)     149
from Suicide Off the Edge of Explicability: Awe in Ozu and Kore'eda (2002)     153
from Jai Santoshi Maa Revisited: On Seeing a Hindu "Mythological" Film (2003)     164
from I Want My Films to Explode with Life (2004)     172
from Transcendental Style on Film (1972)     176
from Shukyo Asobi and Miyazaki Hayao's Anime (2007)     183
from Under Weir and Theroux: An Interview with Peter Weir (1986)     194
European Perspectives     197
Introduction     199
from The Masterpiece: The Gospel According to St Matthew (1997) [1964]     203
from Introduction to the Seventh Seal (1968) [1957]     208
from Filming the Story of a Spy for God: An Interview with Costa-Gavras (2003)     210
from Godard in His Fifth Period (1985)     213
from Introduction to Decalogue: The Ten Commandments (1991) [1988]     219
from A Century of Films: Day of Wrath (2001)     225
from Sculpting in Time (1989)     227
from Trier on Von Trier (2003)     230
South and North American Perspectives     233
Introduction     235
from Woody Allen on Woody Allen (1994)     240
from Basic: An Interview with 21 Grams Screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga (2003)     244
from The Rolling Stone Interview (1992)     247
from Dialogue Between Bell Hooks and Julie Dash (1992)     251
from Inner Views: Filmmakers in Conversation (1992)     257
from Of Myth and Men: Excerpts of a Conversation Between Bill Moyers and George Lucas (1999)     261
from On Reappreciating Kazantzakis (2005)     267
from Screening Schillebeeckx (2006)     269
from Sentimental Journey as National Allegory: An Interview with Walter Salles (1998)     276
from Steven's Choice (2000)     278
from Mouse Morality: The Rhetoric of Disney Animated Film (2002)     280
from Projecting Blackness: African-American Religion in the Hollywood Imagination (2004)     285
Theological and Biblical Approaches to Analyzing Film     295
Introduction     297
Theological Dialogues     301
from Catching Light: Looking for God in the Movies (2004)     303
from Faith in Film (2005)     306
from Reel Spirituality: Theology and Film in Dialogue (2000)     312
from Cinema and Sentiment (2004)     323
from Contemporary Theories Regarding the Interpretation of Religious Film (1997)     327
from Alien Sex: The Body and Desire in Cinema and Theology (2004)     337
Viewing and Writing on the Passion of the Christ (2005)     343
from Celluloid Saints: Images of Sanctity in Film (2002)     348
Biblical Connections     351
from Cinema Divinite: Religion, Theology and the Bible in Film (2005)     353
from St Paul at the Movies: The Apostle's Dialogue with American Culture (1993)     358
from Plotted, Shot, and Painted: Cultural Representations of Biblical Women (1996)     361
from The New Testament in Fiction and Film: On Reversing the Hermeneutical Flow (1993)     370
from Scripture on the Silver Screen (2003)     374
from How Hysterical: Identification and Resistance in the Bible and Film (2003)      378
Recent Reflections on the Relation between Religion and Film     385
Introduction     387
from Religion in Film (1982)     391
from Imagining Nothing and Imagining Otherness in Buddhist Film (1999)     398
from Devotional Cinema (2003)     407
from Film as Religion: Myths, Morals and Rituals (2003)     416
from Screening the Sacred: Religion, Myth, and Ideology in Popular American Film (1995)     421
from The Footprints of Film: After Images of Religion in American Space and Time (2006)     427
from Religion and Film (2007)     438
Bibliography     445
Webography     456
Index     459
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)